July 26, 2018

350 words 2 mins read

State House Candidate Likes Local Control after Embarrassing State Audit

One of the candidates for Missouri House District 110 (Eureka, Wildwood, and Pacific) sent out a mailer to voters today. 

The mailer talks about “local control” of education, and many other fine platitudes that poll well. 

In other news,** while this candidate was on the Rockwood School District board of directors** (the district that serves most of Eureka, Wildwood, and Pacific), **bad things happened**. Like this:

The Rockwood School District overpaid its longtime construction management company by more than $1.2 million over the last 10 years, essentially paying the firm twice for some work related to bond projects, a state audit has found.

While I’m a big fan of local control when it comes to Washington DC vs. Missouri, **I appreciate the proper relationship between the state of Missouri and the various taxing districts it authorizes. **

(Read how Rockwood School District’s website lacks basic credit card security.)

The counties, cities, and school districts in Missouri are sort of like chartered corporations granted by the state. They’re not private entities. The state can dissolve them. And the state can control them. And audit their books.

When the late Tom Schweich audited Rockwood School District in 2011, no one complained that Schweich was usurping local control. Instead, they were applauding his oversight. Left and right, they applauded. Everybody except that silly candidate for the state house of reps. 

If you’re double-paying an insider to the tune of $1.2 million dollars as a school board member, you don’t want the state looking over your books. If you’re on the board of a school district whose bad accounting made national headlines, local control is your best friend. 

But if you’re a Rockwood taxpayer (and voter), you balance local control against the virtues of a state audit. Because the last audit found millions of our tax dollars went to a member of the board. Ya know, like graft. 

I’m voting for Dottie Bailey for 110th on August 7. She’s not on the school board. And she can balance local control with responsible state oversight. She will do that as your state rep. Believe me.